Philippine military confirms US forces assisting local troops to end city siege:

Asia Middle East Forum

The Philippine military on Saturday confirmed that U.S. special forces were assisting local troops to end a siege of the southern town of Marawi by militants allied to Islamic State, but said they were only providing technical support.

“They are not fighting. They are just providing technical support,” military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera told a news conference.

A spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy told Reuters that the Philippine government had sought U.S. assistance in the battle for Marawi City on the island of Mindanao, which is in its third week.

The seizure of Marawi by hundreds of fighters who have sworn allegiance to Islamic State, including dozens from neighbouring countries and the Middle East, has fuelled concern that the ultra-radical group is gaining a foothold in Southeast Asia.

“At the request of the government of the Philippines, U.S. special operations forces are assisting the AFP with ongoing operations in…

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